Key questions headed into Wisconsin election: Polling sites, times, voter ID changesSome of the key questions voters may have as they head to the polls on Tuesday.
By: Scott Bauer, Associated Press, Superior Telegram
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some of the key questions voters may have as they head to the polls on Tuesday:
Question: What are the races to watch?
Answer: Although all eight of Wisconsin's congressional seats and most of its state legislative seats are up for grabs, the two biggest races are the presidential contest and the fight for U.S. Senate.
President Barack Obama is trying to repeat in Wisconsin, which he comfortably won in 2008. But Republican Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate and hopes that will help him in a state that has taken a hard swing to the right since 2008 but hasn't chosen a Republican presidential candidate since 1984.
The biggest statewide race is for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. That race pits U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Madison against former longtime Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is attempting a political comeback 14 years after he was last on the ballot.
Other races to watch include whether Democrats can maintain their 17-16 edge in the state Senate, where they won a majority during June's recall elections. Republicans are expected to keep their hold on the Assembly, where all 99 seats are up for grabs.
Question: What are the polling hours?
Answer: All polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Question: What changes should I expect under the Voter ID law?
Answer: You do not need photo identification to receive a ballot. That part of the law has been struck down in court. However, you will be asked to sign a poll book when you get your ballot, unless you are physically unable to do so. (If you've already voted this year in one of the five previous elections, you know the drill.)
Question: What's the weather forecast?
Answer: It's Wisconsin, so be prepared for anything. But at least for now, the forecast calls for rain and temperatures in the 40s across most of the state.
Question: How do I find out where to vote?
Answer: Voters can find a polling place, see a sample ballot and even check their registration status at: https://myvote.wi.gov/
Question: Where can I get information about voting as a convicted felon, or if I or someone I know is homeless, recently moved, in college, living overseas, or has recently changed names?
Answer: Again, https://myvote.wi.gov/ is good resource for those and other Election Day questions.
Question: What effect does redistricting have?
Answer: You may have a new polling place, and you may be voting for different candidates or in a different district than you did in the last election for the state Legislature and other local races. Check https://myvote.wi.gov to see your sample ballot and get polling information. But redistricting, which is done every 10 years to adjust the boundaries of voting districts to accommodate population shifts, will have no effect on your ballot when it comes to the presidential and U.S. Senate races since candidates in those races appear on all Wisconsin ballots.
Question: What should I do if a poll watcher approaches me?
Answer: If you have a problem at a polling place, ask to speak with the chief inspector. If the issues can't be resolved by that person, you should contact the municipal clerk's office or local law enforcement. Complaints or issues not resolved can be forwarded to the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections.
Question: What do I need if I want to vote but haven't registered yet?
Answer: You can register at the polls. Just be sure to bring proof of residence, such as a current utility bill, lease, university identification card or other official document showing your name and address. But you must have lived at your current address for at least 28 days to register at the polls. You don't need a photo ID, but you can use your driver's license as proof of residence if the address is current.
Question: I strongly support Mitt Romney/Barack Obama and want to show my appreciation by wearing a campaign button, T-shirt and hat to the polls. Is that a problem?
Answer: Voters are asked not to wear political clothing or paraphernalia to their polling places, and those who do may be asked to leave if they are judged to be electioneering or creating a disturbance.